Let's make an interactive machine that can fit a human's head and perform an interesting action. This activity guide introduces a robotic head made from cardboard that uses a pulley-styled wiper system to clean the screen, a robot-like task that human eyes can't do!

Learning Goals

  • Understand concepts of pulleys, forces and weights and other mechanical and moving parts
  • Use imaginative play to build things that interact with the human body and tell a story around it

Activity Resources


Materials Required

  • Cardboard box
  • Icecream sticks
  • Fevicol
  • Cloth piece
  • Board pins
  • Strong thread
  • Thick transparent plastic sheet

Age Groups

This activity is suitable for ages 8 years & up.

Facilitation Tips

  • Demonstrate the activity with help from the demo video and discuss with students:
    • What is a robot? What do robots do?
    • What material are the two blue-colored circles shown on the front of the mask made of? What is their role in the project?
    • Where else have you seen a similar mechanism like the pulley-styled wipers before? Could you share how and why the wipers move the way they do?
    • Depending on the grades students are in, you can discuss with them: what are pulleys, what are the different kinds of pulley systems, what are pulleys used for, etc.?
  • Introduce the activity using the activity guide in a PDF format, demo video, and voice notes. Encourage participants to make their Robo head different from the one in the activity guide and try making it as interactive as possible.
  • You can share some ideas for how they can make their machine interactive- you can put a fan on the top that rotates with the wind, a loudspeaker that amplifies your voice, or emits light.
  • Ask participants to share their process of making the Robo head, what materials they used, and how they can interact with it.
  • Inspire participants by sharing real-life examples from around us, work of local and international artists working on creating mechanisms from cardboard and household materials

Note: Browse through the following resource on the topic of pulleys.

Browse through the facilitator guide for tips and tricks to engage participants in maker activities in a virtual or physical learning space.

View facilitator guide

Inspiring Artists

Jorvon “Odd Jayy” Moss is a self-taught tinkerer from Los Angeles, USA. He develops small robots that interact with your body, sit on your shoulders and head.  To see more of Odd Jay’s creations, click here.

Source: https://twitter.com/Odd_Jayy/status/1423652076047929352

Inspiring Examples


Suchakra Sharma, Co-Designer (Unstructured Studio)
Srishti Sethi, Co-Designer (Unstructured Studio)